A man has died after cleaning a very hot vat of ink at a western Sydney factory.
He was one of three workers who became trapped at the Auburn site shortly before 9am on Thursday.
The deceased man’s two other colleagues, aged in their twenties, were rescued from the Chisholm Road premises owned by DIC Australia, with one of them trapped for several hours.
However, the worker who died remained in the vat. A stretcher was seen being carried to the accident scene shortly after 1.20pm.
It is believed the workers were trapped in a mixing arm of the ink vat.
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Rescue crews arrived at the scene where a worker died after falling into an ink vat in Auburn
Dic Australia’s Chisholm Road site at Auburn has suffered from the loss of a worker in an ink vat
New South Ambulance superintendent Paul Turner said the deceased man, aged in his thirties, had been trapped by his legs, describing the area as ‘a very difficult scene’.
‘There was still ink on the floor of the vat, which hampered rescue efforts and treatment,’ he told Daily Mail Australia. ‘It’s extremely hot inside the vat,’ he said.
‘Very limited personnel have been able to get inside.’
Special operations paramedics have been dispatched to the six-metre high vat ‘shaped like a large battery’.
The front area of the Auburn factory in western Sydney where a worker died on Thursday
Ambulance, NSW Fire and Rescue and police are on the scene at the Auburn ink factory
Ambulance paramedics were sent to the scene of the industrial accident on Thursday afternoon
A police rescue specialist is on the scene at Auburn in Sydney’s west where the men are trapped
Three men were initially all conscious and talking when they were trapped about 8.45am on Thursday.
However, Mr Turner said the deceased men ‘deteriorated rapidly towards the end’.
Ten ambulances are on hand, along with police and Fire and Rescue trucks.
The two rescued men were taken to Westmead Hospital, with one man suffering suspected leg injuries and the other leg fractures.
Ambulance parademics at the scene told Daily Mail Australia the injuries were likely to have been caused by falling into the vat instead of the chemicals inside.
‘This is a terrible tragedy,’ Mr Turner said later in a statement.
Police Rescue and firefighters arrived on the scene after three men were initially trapped
‘We did absolutely everything we could.
‘It was a complex operation. We worked as quickly as we could to access these patients.’
The man is yet to be formally identified and his body remains in the tank, a NSW Police spokesman said.
Detectives have established a crime scene and are investigating.
SafeWork NSW has also sent inspectors to the site to investigate, a spokesman told Australian Associated Press.